The Hong Kong Monetary Authority was not aware of any new official measures to curb yuan demand in Hong Kong, the HKMA said after its chief executive, Joseph Yam Chi-kwong, led a banking delegation in talks with mainland regulators. The Hong Kong Institute of Bankers delegation yesterday met Liu Mingkang, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, and Hu Xiaolian, a deputy governor of the People's Bank of China and director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. Mr Yam said the delegation discussed the development of Hong Kong's yuan business, and whether the authorities had any concerns about Hong Kong residents opening yuan accounts on the mainland. 'CBRC isn't too concerned - as long as banks are doing their business properly and know their customers,' he said, adding, however, that the central bank was concerned by the growing yuan demand. Mr Yam said it was understandable that the bank would be concerned by the issue, which could make exchange rate management harder - particularly at a time of austerity measures. 'To my understanding, SAFE has no new measures planned, but of course, they don't have to inform us if they have any,' he said. Bank of China (Hong Kong), the city's yuan clearing bank, widened the spread between Hong Kong dollar buy and sell rates for the yuan early this month from 10 basis points to 75 basis points for member banks. BOCHK said it made the move after the China Foreign Exchange Trading System, the mainland's foreign exchange trading platform, increased transaction fees. Most Hong Kong lenders will pass the cost on to customers. Mr Yam said the current rule could offer a loophole, because individuals were not allowed to buy more than 20,000 yuan (HK$22,500) a day, but they could still convert up to 20,000 yuan from different banks the same day. 'I don't think it will speed up yuan deposits dramatically [despite the loophole],' he said. Mr Yam said it was natural to see yuan demand rise at a time when people expected the currency to appreciate - and returns from other investments were not attractive. However, yuan deposits in Hong Kong had slowed after the spread widening earlier this month, he said. Separately, Mr Yam expected regulators and individual banks would have policies in place to handle loan exposure in Sichuan in the wake of the earthquake.